Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lemon Meringue Cookies and lemon curd

Oh I soooo want to make these!!

Lemon Meringue Cookies
Recipe found on

Makes: about 55 cookies

For the Meringues:

2 large egg whites

pinch of salt

2/3 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place two racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Foil will also work in a pinch. Set the baking pans aside.

Place the egg whites (save the yolks for the curd) in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat egg whites, on medium speed, until foamy. Add the pinch of salt and increase speed to medium-high. Slowly begin to sprinkle in the sugar. Continue to beat eggs until they become thick, glossy and hold stiff peeks. The egg whites will be the consistency of melted marshmallow.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Spoon into a piping bag, fitted with a large star tip. Pipe about a teaspoons worth of meringue onto the baking sheet. Stars can be close together, as they won't spread or puff during baking. Pipe stars onto the two baking sheets until no meringue remains in the bag. Using the back of a spoon, flatten out half of the meringue stars, making them as flat as possible, but not necessarily a larger circle than the original piped star. The flattened star will become the bottom of the sandwich cookie.

Bake meringues for 2 hours, until no longer sticky , but firm and hardened.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet before filling and sandwiching.

For the Lemon Curd:

from: David Lebovitz

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

pinch of salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl and set aside.

In a medium pot, whisk together lemon juice, granulated sugar, eggs, yolks, and pinch of salt. Place the pot over a medium-low flame and add butter. Stir mixture with a whisk, and spatula. The spatula will help you get into the corners of the pan, ensuring that none of the curd over-cooks too much. Cook the curd until the butter is melted, and the mixture is the thickness of warm hot fudge. The whisk will begin to leave a trail of whisk marks and the mixture will have the distinct smell of lemon curd. You don't really need to boil lemon curd... it's probably done it if gets to the boiling stage.

Remove from the flame and immediately pour into the fine mesh strainer over the medium bowl. Press through the strainer, leaving any cooked egg bits in the strainer, and not in your beautiful curd.

Place curd in a jar, with a piece of plastic wrap placed directly over the curd. Place in the fridge until completely cold.

To fill the cookies, spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of curd onto a flattened bottom cookie. Top with a star shaped cookie. Place cookies in a single layer on a tray and place in the freezer for 20 minutes to an hour. I love these cookies right out of the freezer. You can also fill them and serve them immediately. These cookies do not last well if willed and left to sit.

Curd should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Curd lasts for about a week. Meringues should be kept in an airtight container, in a dry area, at room temperature. Meringues last for about 5 days... though humidity makes them sticky balls.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Jelly Bean Bark

found this recipe here

24-oz bag of Nestle Premier White Morsels {this is the large size bag}
10 to 14 oz bag of jelly beans.

That's it

Melt your morsels on the stove using a double-boiler or in the microwave on 70% power. Be careful to stir frequently so that you do not burn the chocolate!! If you are using the microwave, heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted.

While your chocolate is melting, line a cookie sheet with wax paper.

Lay half of the jelly beans on the pan.

Pour the melted chocolate over the jelly beans and use a rubber spatula to spread it across the pan creating an even layer.

Place the remaining jelly beans on top of the melted chocolate. Allow to cool at room temperature for several hours or put in the refrigerator to cool for one hour.
Peel away wax paper and break into 2 to 3-inch pieces.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cilantro Lime Rice

serves 4

•1 Tbsp. olive oil
•1 cup basmati rice
•1 1/2 cups chicken broth
•2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
•2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
•zest from one lime
•1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
•1 tsp. salt


Add the oil to a sauce pan and heat on low. Add the garlic and rice to the oil and saute for 2 minutes on medium heat stirring frequently.

Add the chicken broth, salt, lime juice and bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes or according to rice package directions.

When the rice is done, add lime zest and chopped cilantro and stir to mix in. Serve immediately.

If you are using regular long grain rice, follow the cooking directions on the box regarding the amount of liquid to use and the cooking time.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fusilli alla Caprese (tomato basil pasta) YUMMY and EASY

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Prep Time:10 min
Cook Time:10 min
Serves: 4 to 6 servings.

•1 pound fusilli pasta
•3 tablespoons olive oil
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 1 1/2 pints)(I use 2 of those little net bags of cherry tomatoes)
•1 teaspoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
•1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
•8 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced (about 1 1/4 cups) (or I use a pkg of the small mozzarella pearls,they don't get as stringy as when you cut up the mozzarella)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. As the tomatoes cook and soften, smash them with a fork. Continue to cook until the tomatoes make a chunky style sauce, about 4 minutes. Transfer the tomato sauce to the bowl with the pasta. Toss to combine. Add the basil leaves and mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the pasta is moist. Serve.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Chewy Cocoa Peanut Butter Treats

1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups peanut butter flavored baking chips
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tbsp. butter
6 cups Rice Krispies

In large saucepan stir together brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook, over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat; add peanut butter chips, cocoa and butter. Stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. (Mixture will be thick). Add cereal and stir until well coated. Immediately press into a buttered 9 x 13 inch pan. Cool thoroughly before cutting into bars.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Strawberry TrifleI

This is a Taste of Home recipe found here

10 Servings
Prep: 20 min. + chilling

1 cup cold milk
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
8 cups cubed angel food cake
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
•In a large bowl, beat the milk, sour cream, pudding mix and orange
peel on low speed until thickened. Fold in whipped cream.

•Place half of the cake cubes in a 3-qt. glass bowl. Arrange a third
of the strawberries around sides of bowl and over cake; top with
half of the pudding mixture. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining
berries. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Yield: 8-10

Pea 'n' Peanut Salad

found this at the taste of home website

ServingsPrep/Total Time: 15 min.

1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 cup chopped celery
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup prepared zesty Italian salad dressing
•In a large bowl, combine the peas, peanuts, celery, bacon and onion.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and Italian dressing. Pour
over salad and toss to coat. Chill until serving. Yield: 5 servings.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Citrus Mini Cheesecakes

Need nibbles for a crowd? Cheesecake bars stir together in minutes and satisfy palates with a citrus twist.

Prep Time
15 Minutes

Total Time
1:55 Hr:Mins

60 mini cheesecakes

1 1/2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lime, lemon or orange peel
1/3 cup firm butter or margarine

3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons Original Bisquick® mix
1 teaspoon grated lime, lemon or orange peel
1 1/4 cups milk
3 tablespoons lime, lemon or orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
Citrus peel, if desired

1.Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, stir crust ingredients except butter. With pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Pat on bottom of ungreased 15x10x1-inch pan. Bake 10 minutes.

2.Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2 tablespoons Bisquick mix and 1 teaspoon lime peel with electric mixer on medium speed until blended and fluffy. On low speed, beat in milk, lime juice, vanilla and eggs until blended. Beat on low speed 2 minutes longer. Pour over partially baked crust.

3.Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Refrigerate until ready to serve. For mini cheesecakes, cut into 10 rows by 6 rows. Garnish with citrus peel. Store covered in refrigerator.

Makes 60 mini cheesecakes

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Copy Cat Costco Mousse Cake Filling

Copy Cat Costco Mousse Cake Filling

1 cup half-and-half
1 (3 7/8 ounce) boxes instant pudding mix
1 tablespoon Dream Whip Directions
Combine all in a bowl and mix with hand blender until smooth and thick.
For Vanilla - Use Vanilla flavored pudding.
For Milk Chocolate - Use chocolate pudding.
For dark chocolate - Use chocolate pudding and add 2 T cocoa powder (or more to your liking).
For cheesecake flavored - Use cheescake pudding.

Be sure to use it on cooled layer cakes and refrigerate it after it is mixed and/or on the cake. You can use fat free milk if you want to but it is no where near as rich, thick and creamy.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Georgetown Cupcake's AND Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

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The Secret to Georgetown Cupcake's AND Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons no-taste red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (for the frosting)
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted (for the frosting)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (for the frosting)
  • 6 ounces cream cheese (for the frosting)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a standard cupcake pan with 12 paper baking cups, or grease the pan with butter if not using baking cups.
  2. Sift together the flour and salt, and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar at medium speed for 3–5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
  5. Using a whisk, whisk together the red food coloring, vanilla and cocoa powder. Slowly add this into the mixer bowl until well incorporated.
  6. Add a third of the flour, followed by a third of the milk, and mix. Repeat. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the last third of the flour, followed by the last third of the milk, and mix until incorporated.
  7. In a small bowl, add the baking soda to the apple cider vinegar. You will see the baking soda and vinegar fizz up! Mix thoroughly and add this reaction to the batter. Mix until just incorporated.
  8. Using a standard-size ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into a cupcake pan so each well is two-thirds full. Bake for 16–18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (for the frosting)
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted (for the frosting)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (for the frosting)
  • 6 ounces cream cheese (for the frosting)

For the frosting, place all frosting ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until well combined. Be sure to beat on high speed at the very end for at least two minutes to ensure that the frosting is light and fluffy.

***With only ONE ingredient addition, this recipe can be transformed into 10 different frostings:

1. Chocolate Frosting - Add 1/2 cup of melted (and cooled) semi-sweet chocolate chips.

2. Lemon Frosting - Add the juice and zest of 2 lemons.

3. Lime Frosting - Add the juice and zest of 3 limes.

4. Orange Frosting - Add the juice and zest of 1 orange.

5. Mocha Frosting - Add 1/4 cup of cold coffee.

6. Peanut Butter Frosting - Add 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter.

7. Maple Frosting - Add 1/4 cup of maple syrup.

8. Cinnamon Frosting - Add 2 tsp of ground cinnamon.

9. Mint Frosting - Add 2 tsp of peppermint extract.

10. Toffee Frosting - Add 1/4 cup of crushed toffee candy bar

This was found here

Cashew Chicken

    2 cups quartered mushrooms 1 cup chopped onion 1 cup snow peas 8 oz. raw boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size...